Jesus asks his followers: “Who do you say I am?” How do I respond? Perhaps with the Baltimore Catechism answer: “Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man.” Aha, correct answer but an answer from the head, not the heart. Jesus, I am sure, invites a response from my heart.

To answer from the heart requires that I must develop a personal relationship with Jesus—I must get to know the man whose word was God’s Word, whose spirit was God’s Spirit, whose feelings were God’s feelings. I must get to know the one who is the source of meaning and strength in my life, and a model for how I should live.

I am somewhat taken aback when I next read that Jesus directed his disciples not to tell this Good News to anyone. I have come to realize, however, that this direction calls on each of us to discover who Jesus is, not from theological study or rote memorization, but from getting to know Jesus, up close and personal, through prayer and reflection, and walking through our life journey with him as our companion.

Who do YOU say I am?

―George Penman Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found Chicago’s Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and three grandchildren.